School destroyed during 2014 conflict in Gaza reopened

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Student at Khuza'a Elementary school reads a poem at the school reopening ceremony. Photo: UNRWA/Shareef Sarhan

A school that was destroyed during a conflict in Gaza in July last year has been reopened by the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

The Khuza'a Elementary Co-ed A &B School, in eastern Khan Younis hosts more than 1,100 students.

Its refurbishment was made possible by donations from international partners and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai who contributed her $50,000 monetary award from the World's Children's Prize.

Catherine Hasselberg reports.

The building opened on Monday is one of 83 schools that were impacted during last year's hostilities in Gaza between Israel and the Palestinian faction, Hamas.

Speaking at a ceremony to reopen the Khuza'a school, the Commissioner-General of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) recalled that large parts of the school was destroyed during an Israeli military operation.

Pierre Krähenbühl who visited the site in August last year had this reaction to the re-opening.

"Today it is so important and heartening to see over 1,100 children returning to these classrooms. This is something that feels me with deep satisfaction. And this refurbishment and repairs was made possible by generous donations but I want to in particular highlight the one that was made possible by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai who contributed the entire prize money from an award that she received." (28")

Mr Krähenbühl said the world must not forget about the hardships that the people of Gaza have endured.

He called on the international community to act decisively on the political level to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory and what he called "the illegal blockade" that has been imposed by Israel on Gaza.

Catherine Hasselberg , United Nations.

Duration: 1’23″

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